The single parenting club can seem like the loneliest place on the planet even though there are millions of us giving our all for our children every single day. Most of the time I find myself adapting to life as it comes at me but there are just some things that don’t fit the bill. Like dating.
Now for some single parents that might seem like the easiest thing to adapt to or the pettiest thing that needs to be adapted to. Some single parents have a support system. They have a co-parent, their own parent or parents to help out, or brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and/or close friends to come to their aid if they want to go on a date or just get a couple of hours to themselves. For other single parents (such as myself) we fall into the polar opposite end of the spectrum, having nearly no support system. The support that I do have is my son’s daycare provider but that’s a strict work-only reserve and the few friends I have that I would feel comfortable asking to watch my son are typically all busy with their own life’s challenges.
So, with little to no support system how does one have a social life? Let me tell you, it’s beyond challenging and sometimes down right frustrating. Over the years I have tried dating and even if I get the time to myself to go on that first date the subsequent dates become the problem. Yeah, I could ask if the dude would mind if we do something free or kid friendly, or if he has any children ask if we can do something together or just hang out at my house but it’s not that easy. And what kind of message does that send?
No one wants to come off as desperate or make it sound as if there will be no alone time to get to know each other or like there will be little to no time for intimacy. It also becomes a balancing act because you obviously want the person you are trying to date to know that your child is an important part of the relationship but you don’t want to say “I definitely want to go out with you but when we go to dinner can I bring my son?” I don’t know about the rest of you but there are just some things you want to ease into conversations not just drop major truth bombs about.
What about meeting someone worthy of going on a date with? Personally, I would LOVE to have some kind of quirky love connection story to tell my grandchildren like meeting the love of my life in the checkout line at the grocery store. LOL. Things like that only happen in the movies. These days it seems like the only ways to meet someone at all is to go to a bar or club or get all modern and jump on the online dating train. I’ve done both and I prefer neither.
Anyone who’s had the chance to enjoy their early twenties could probably tell you from experience that anyone you “connect with” in a bar or club will NEVER work out to be more than a physical relationship and it will only be temporary entertainment. Precious life lessons that you have to learn the hard way. And as far as online dating goes [insert eye roll]… There are too many creeps, people who should be in a bar or club instead of online, and fakes. It doesn’t go without saying that there are some decent folks online that are all searching for the same thing but finding them is difficult.
Along with those things I personally find it hard to make any sort of human connection via the internet. Sometimes you meet people in person who online you would think are not your type but little things about them (such as the way they smell, the sound of their voice, their sense of humor) make them appealing. Things you miss out on by trying to force a connection with electronics between you. For the most part every ounce of attraction in online dating is physical. You try to talk to people, play twenty questions, get to know the person by chatting and sending photos but someone who you may never find attractive without meeting them in person you may never get to meet in person because you don’t find them attractive.
I also think that most importantly, with so many catfishers out there these days, why would you want to take a chance on an online personality???? Why would you want to take the next step and have a phone call or text? Then they have your phone number. Why would you want to video chat with them? Then they might try to stalk you by getting up close and personal with your surroundings in the background. Why would you want to talk about your kids with them? They could be a kidnapper or be into kiddie porn. Maybe I worry too much or maybe I watch too much tv. Either way, I’m right aren’t I? I know I’m not the only person to think about these things.
My point is, as a single parent its insanely difficult to have a social life, let alone, date. When it comes to dating you may have the time but can’t find someone worthy of going on a date with and if you have the best person to go on a date with you may never be able to find the time to go. How do you guys and gals deal with the challenges of single parenting and dating?
I find it lonely. I’ll chat with people online but I rarely ever go on any dates with anyone from online. But since I really don’t go anywhere but to work and the store I have adapted and become comfortable with being single. Which I think is to my own benefit. It’s important to love yourself and have your own life together before trying to share a life with someone else. I am my best self, I am my best parent, I am raising my best child. I am always doing my best.
I would love to start a support group for single parents. Men and women. I’m sure we all have experiences we would love to share and relate to. Sound off in the comments or contact me via email or social media!